Born in Hobart in 1921, Bill Jackson became a prominent Plant Scientist at the University of Tasmania. Jackson joined the army during WWII, spending time in Papua New Guinea. While initially studying engineering, he instead followed his growing interest in the natural world, enrolling in Botany studies in his second year, achieving his degree in 1951. Jackson joined the staff of the Botany Department in 1953. He was appointed professor of botany at the University in 1966 and held the position until his retirement 20 years later. He was a leader, teacher and researcher in plant science, in particular, eucalypt biodiversity and evolution, in Tasmania for over 50 years. With colleague Professors Newton Barbour Jackson was known for the formulation of the 'ecological drift' concept, first published in 1968, and revised in1999. After retirement, as emeritus professor, he maintained a very active role at the University. In 2000 he endowed a generous scholarship to encourage talented students to undertake honours in plant science. Jackson passed away in 2002.